Keeping customers for clients—Document Locator makes the difference for the Claremont Group
With a staff of 14, and 8 licensed investment representatives, Claremont Group, headquartered in Portland, Oregon, is the nation’s leading resource for insurance companies in asset retention (for example, “conserving” insurance companies’ customers). The company is headed by Christopher Warden, a pioneer in investment product sales through banks.
In 1994, the company began using its excellent track record to help insurance companies—and their customers—who had become “orphaned” due to bank buyouts and mergers.
Needed: fast access to financial history information
Financial relationship management is a document-intensive business. Each sale, which essentially “conserves” a customer for the client insurance company, can generate from 5 to 15 documents. Even before Claremont Group can begin to engage with a customer, they must have an accurate snapshot of the individual’s financial history in order to steward a relationship based on individual needs that change over time. For example, fast access to accurate documents enables Claremont to perform financial diagnoses expeditiously.
To cut down on the storage space required for paper documents and to provide fast access to financial histories, Claremont Group turned to scanning technology a couple of years ago. Within six months they discovered the solution came with its own set of problems: the scanning software couldn’t adequately index the volume of documents, making it difficult to find the right materials in a timely manner.
Enter Document Locator
“To do an effective job for our customers and stay on top of compliance issues, we have to have an accurate picture of the customer’s documented financial history, which not only entails contracts but various correspondences, as well as compliance and liability issues. This is where Document Locator has proven to be an invaluable tool,” explained Claremont’s CEO Chris Warden.
In the summer of 2002, Claremont installed Document Locator to help store and organize scanned documents it maintained (contracts, updates, correspondences, etc.). The impact was instantaneous. Document Locator was installed in a matter of hours and, because it is integrated with Microsoft, the staff was able to use it immediately.
“With the old system, using a shared file system and software that came with our scanner, we were only able to provide the name in order to locate a specific document. So if you forgot the name or got it wrong, you were out of luck,” said Daryl Price, Claremont’s IT Director. “With Document Locator, when we need to find a specific document, we can do full-text searching to locate exactly what we need, which means we can access the most recent version as well as any previous versions that would be useful for our service representatives to get a complete picture fast. Conservatively, I’d estimate we’re seeing a 60 – 80% overall improvement in productivity.”
In addition to productivity metrics, Warden sees ROI in the sense of security Document Locator provides him and others in the company regarding compliance and liability issues.
Document Locator: a critical piece of the business
“We manage upwards of $600 million in client assets, and tens of thousands of customers. Our vehicle for doing that is communications and we have to keep track of that,” said Warden. “Documents are our life blood, representing the lifetime value of our customers. You bet Document Locator is a critical piece of our business.”
Claremont Group currently uses Document Locator to manage scanned documents, totaling approximately 60,000 pages of information. Each page is full- text indexed. This means Claremont’s staff can search for any word or phrase in the document—such as a policy number, client’s name or city—and find the documents in seconds. Claremont Group anticipates upgrading the system to add remote access for their agents in satellite offices.
“From an IT perspective, the nice thing about Document Locator is that I don’t have to do much,“ said Daryl Price. “It pretty much takes care of itself and our people. It’s simple, easy, and powerful.”
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